Ronaldinho to start for Barcelona
Saturday 30 August 2003
They have a new star player and a new coach but Barcelona will probably not steal the limelight from David Beckham's La Liga debut with Real Madrid today.
Yet there is plenty of intrigue about Barca's trip to the Basque country this evening to face Athletic Bilbao. Their coach, Frank Rijkaard, will field the club's £20m summer signing, Ronaldinho, for the first time in a competitive match.
In the absence of Patrick Kluivert, who is suspended, the Brazilian will play up front alongside Javier Saviola. The game will also be a first for Bilbao's coach, Ernesto Valverde, following his appointment as Jupp Heynckes's successor. Valverde has no money to spend and his side are unlikely to make a winning start.
Tomorrow's matches include the Champions' League newcomers, Celta Vigo, at home to Murcia. Deportivo, who also qualified for Europe's top table in midweek, travel to Real Zaragoza.
In France, the defending champions, Lyon, are hoping that their newly-signed Brazilian striker, Elber, can help to kick-start their season, starting against bottom club, Guingamp, today.
Lyon were held to a goalless draw by the promoted Toulouse at home last week and with two wins, a draw and a defeat so far this season are currently sixth in the table.
They also have a motive for revenge against Guingamp, who went to Lyon and ruined their title celebrations by winning 4-1 in the final match of last season.
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